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What causes nausea, dizziness and neck pain?

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Posted on Mon, 29 Jun 2015
Question: My wife has been experiencing a neck pain, and head ache on and off for a week or so. We are on vacation this week and she is experiencing more of the same. Today she also experienced nausea, dizziness, cold sweat, and a feeling of passing out. She did not actually pass out but suddenly felt very weak. Should I take her to an emergency room?
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Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Read below.

Detailed Answer:
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern. It's unfortunate she is feeling unwell during your vacation.

Considering that she had a protracted history of neck pain I believe her symptoms to be related to her neck problems which are commonly associated apart from pain with nausea, dizziness, light-headedness. That is because the proprioceptive sensations from the upper levels of the cervical spine about the head and neck position are an important component of balance maintaining systems. So I don't believe she needs emergency management for that diagnosis, only some rest, anti inflammatory pain killers, muscle relaxants and once back home physical therapy.

Another possibility would be a stroke. That would require emergency management but I consider it less likely given her age and history of previous neck pain. However if there is some new symptom such as double vision or other vision issues, numbness on one half of the face or body, facial asymmetry, lack of coordination, unable to walk unassisted, then a stroke would be a strong possibility and you should head to emergency room. Another reason to have a higher doubt threshold and request an evaluation would be if she has vascular risk factors such as heart conditions, high blood pressure, diabetes or strong family history for stroke.

I remain at your disposal for other questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
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Answered by
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Dr. Olsi Taka

Neurologist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3667 Questions

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What causes nausea, dizziness and neck pain?

Brief Answer: Read below. Detailed Answer: I read your question carefully and I understand your concern. It's unfortunate she is feeling unwell during your vacation. Considering that she had a protracted history of neck pain I believe her symptoms to be related to her neck problems which are commonly associated apart from pain with nausea, dizziness, light-headedness. That is because the proprioceptive sensations from the upper levels of the cervical spine about the head and neck position are an important component of balance maintaining systems. So I don't believe she needs emergency management for that diagnosis, only some rest, anti inflammatory pain killers, muscle relaxants and once back home physical therapy. Another possibility would be a stroke. That would require emergency management but I consider it less likely given her age and history of previous neck pain. However if there is some new symptom such as double vision or other vision issues, numbness on one half of the face or body, facial asymmetry, lack of coordination, unable to walk unassisted, then a stroke would be a strong possibility and you should head to emergency room. Another reason to have a higher doubt threshold and request an evaluation would be if she has vascular risk factors such as heart conditions, high blood pressure, diabetes or strong family history for stroke. I remain at your disposal for other questions.